Collaboration • 237 Marketing + Web

The Thanksgiving story of Pilgrims feasting with Wampanoeg Indians in 1621 to celebrate a good harvest and cooperation has been taught in elementary schools for decades. Although the accuracy of the tale and the history of the first Thanksgiving might be murkier than the age-old stories would have you believe, the concept of gratitude and collaboration still rings true.

Both the Pilgrims and the native Indian tribes struggled after the arrival of Caucasians to the Americas. But both groups also showed perseverance in the face of diversity. Eventually, many of them learned to work together despite their earlier conflicts. They took time to give thanks for the bounty the Earth provided them and gathered with their families to celebrate.

Tangled among the modern-day symbols of the Thanksgiving holiday is the idea of being grateful for your friends, family and a good feast. You can bring this spirit of thankfulness and collaboration to your business or organization as well. November might be the month you stage your annual customer appreciation (hyperlink to previous posts about customer apprec.) celebration. Or, non-profit organizations might focus fundraising efforts during the month in order to focus on common goals.
Here are 10 more easy steps toward establishing a collaborative atmosphere in your business or organization:

1. Get everyone involved

Not all suggestions will be acted upon, but they all will be heard.

2. Grant access

Don’t exclude certain members from participating based on arbitrary rules.

3. Lead by example

Strong leaders know when to step up and know when to get out of the way.

4. Don’t forget evaluation

Take periodic breaks from the action in order to assess progress.

5. Start with strategy

Have a working plan in place before the project starts.

6. Clear communication

Every member of the team must be on the same page.

7. Focus on outcomes

Buy-in is easier when everyone understands and appreciates the end goal.

8. Fail quickly

If one strategy isn’t working, pull the plug quickly and pivot to a new plan.

9. Don’t give up

Persevere despite challenges and help others do so as well.

10. Explain personal benefits

Employees seek benefits to themselves as well as to the company.

You don’t have to stage a huge turkey dinner in your office in order to garner a sense of gratitude. All you have to do is show appreciation for your staff, your clients and your collaborators. Hopefully, the concept will pay forward to others in your community.